The 2021 Detroit Tigers will not be remembered as a team that clapped an enormous amount of home runs by current standards— they finished 24th in the MLB with 179 bombs — but they had many that are worth revisiting. It’s also interesting to note that back in 2012, at the peak of their four-year AL Central reign, the Tigers hit just 163 homers total. Times have changed.
Let’s take a look at the longest home runs by Detroit Tigers players from this past season. Of the 20 different players who left the yard while donning the Olde English D in 2021, 15 of them cleared the 400-foot mark.
We’ll be counting the longest home run for each player in order to get more heads involved, though a list comprised exclusively of Eric Haase, Akil Baddoo and Jonathan Scoop home runs does sound like fun. A list that will include Javier Báez, Spencer Torkelson, and Riley Greene in 2022 sounds even better, but we’ll have to be patient a while longer.
10. Jake Rogers, 426 feet vs. Texas Rangers on July 6
This kind of shot is just another reason we’re going to miss Rogers in 2022, as the mustachioed catcher will miss the entire season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Rogers took a changeup from Texas Ranger pitcher John King a whopping 426 feet to dead center field at Globe Life Field. Despite coming to him at just 77 mph, the ball left his bat at 104.3 mph with a 30-degree launch angle.
9. Victor Reyes, 429 feet vs. Tampa Bay Rays on Sept. 10
I am just as surprised as you are to see Victor Reyes, who finished the season with just five of his 13 career home runs, on this list.
But he earned this spot. Tampa Bay’s Shawn Armstrong gave the outfielder a slider down and inside — a decent pitch, all things considered — but Reyes turned on it in a big way. The ball left his bat at nearly 110 mph with a 32-degree launch angle for a three-run bomb to deep into the right field bleacher seats at Comerica Park.
8. Niko Goodrum, 432 feet vs. Minnesota Twins, Sept. 30
The eighth spot on the list brings us to one of Niko Goodrum’s final games as a Detroit Tiger (for now), where the utility man hit two home runs in Minnesota’s Target Field. The second was his final — and longest — home run of the season.
Joe Ryan delivered a four-seam fastball right down the middle of the plate, and Niko didn’t miss: he sent the ball soaring into right center field’s second deck to give the Tigers a 5-4 lead. The 432-foot blast left his bat at 108 mph with a 28-degree launch angle.
7. Jeimer Candelario, 436 feet vs. Tampa Bay Rays, Sept. 18
Apparently, September was a hot month for Detroit’s bats. This is the third straight entry in which a Detroit player clubbed their longest bomb of the season in its final month, and Candy’s was no cheapie.
Ryan Yarbrough gave Candelario a sweet 83 mph cutter in the top half of the strike zone on a 1-0 count, and Jeimer smacked it off the batter’s eye at Tropicana Field for a three-run home run. It left his bat at 108.5 mph at a 22-degree angle.
6. Jonathan Schoop, 440 feet vs. Chicago White Sox, July 3
Fun fact: I was actually at this game, also known as the “Eric Haase inside-the-parker game.”
But Haase wasn’t the only one to make an impact. Schoop took a 2-2 changeup right over the middle of the plate from Pale Hose reliever Matt Foster to dead center field, clearing the first level of shrubbery at Comerica Park and falling just short of the camera well.
It came off the bat at 107.6 mph and 31 degrees on its way to the 440-foot mark.
T-5. Eric Haase, 442 feet vs. Cleveland, June 29
The first of two 442 footers on this list, Haase hit the longest of his 22 home runs against his former club in their yard. Cleveland’s Cody Allen buried a 91 mph four-seam fastball down and inside against the slugger, but Haase got his hands down and in to send the ball soaring into the night sky and empty left field bleachers.
Haase ripped the ball a staggering 113 mph off the bat, and despite it being just a 22-degree launch angle, it still managed to clear the high left field wall at Progressive Field. He just hit it that hard.
T-5. Robbie Grossman, 442 feet vs. Chicago Cubs, May 14
Robbie had been a Detroit Tigers for less than two months at this point, but he was already making fans across the state. This bomb helped his case.
A Jake Arrieta sinker missed high, and Grossman made the former Cy Young winner pay for the mistake. The ball was sent at 108 mph and 27 degrees off the bat far into the right center field seats at Comerica Park, even clearing the point where the wall gets deeper and higher — a rare spot to see cleared.
3. Miguel Cabrera, 445 feet vs. Chicago White Sox, April 27
While Miggy may still be well past his prime, he’s still good for some extremely exciting moments. While his 500th career home run was his most famous of the season, this blast off Chicago’s Lucas Giolito was his most impressive.
Unlike some other homers on this list, the ball wasn’t a gimme down the middle off a no-name. No, this came off a pitcher who finished the season 11th in Cy Young voting in the American League, and the pitch was a 94 mph fastball inside that the freshly-turned-38-year-old got his bat to and clobbered into left center.
The ball left his bat at an impressive 110 mph and at a 27-degree launch angle.
2. Harold Castro, 447 feet vs. Oakland Athletics, Sept. 2
Stop laughing. This is seriously the correct spot for Hittin’ Harold. I didn’t believe it either. Lo and behold, the man with only eight career home runs smashed the longest home run of the season among his teammates — save for one.
Similar to Miggy’s, this one came off an excellent pitcher in Oakland’s Frankie Montas, who finished sixth in AL Cy Young voting. The right-hander delivered a 95 mph sinker dead in the middle of the plate, and Castro sent the ball soaring into the second level of bushes in Comerica Park’s vast center field, nearly getting it to the walkway connecting left and right field. It left at 31 degrees and at 107 mph.
Seriously. We have video evidence. Sure, we know Harold can hit, but a little more of this would help extend his career through his arbitration eligible years.
1. Akil Baddoo, 450 feet vs. Houston Astros, April 12
If you hadn’t believed in the former Rule 5 pick by this point, you probably did after.
The youthfully electric lefty introduced himself to future Hall of Famer Zack Greinke by taking an 88 mph fastball into a part of Minute Maid Park that few ever venture: deep, deep left-center field, three rows up into a leisure area with tables and chairs where fans likely don’t expect many balls to land in.
It was the rookie’s third home run of his career, and it’s perhaps still his most impressive.